62 minutes | Oct 13, 2021

Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.: The COVID-19 Pandemic and What Comes Next

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., has been one of the most visible commentators on the public health crisis. His insights and writings have helped shaped some of the country's understanding of the public health impacts of the pandemic since early in 2020. As the country continues to battle the pandemic—especially the emergent delta variant of the coronavirus—Gottlieb will visit the Club for the first time to discuss his new book, Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic.

Gottlieb's new book outlines how the United States must prepare for future pandemics by learning from the mistakes made handling the COVID-19 outbreak, which has caused one of the greatest public health tragedies in American history. Gottlieb outlines his efforts in the early 2000s to develop a “Pandemic Influenza Plan” to ready the United States for the threat of a global pandemic, and how short the country came up when it was time to mount an effective response to the novel coronavirus. Further, Gottlieb identifies the early reasons why the United States was so underprepared for the pandemic, from failing to enlist the private sector in large-scale manufacturing of testing supplies and medical equipment to resolutely sticking to the narrative that COVID would go away on its own.

As the United States heads into a critically important fall and winter that will determine whether we will finally end the pandemic, Gottlieb's book comes at a critical time. Please join us for a timely talk with a true expert on the pandemic about what we have learned so far, and what we must do to succeed in the months and years ahead.


Scott Gottlieb

M.D., Former Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration; Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; Author, Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic

Mark Zitter

Chair, The Zetema Project; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors—Moderator

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently hosting all of our live programming via YouTube live stream. This program was recorded via video conference on October 5th, 2021 by the Commonwealth Club of California.

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